New Study: Attrition in MRC Cohort Studies
posted on: Jun 21, 2007
Longitudinal cohort studies follow a group of individuals over a period of time, often many years. They can be used to study the incidence of disease and health behaviours, and the aetiology of many diseases.
Study participant recruitment and retention strategies are a vital part of the cohort study process. Poor strategies may lead to both selective recruitment and attrition. This limits how generalisable the findings are, and can result in biased estimates of association, which can lead to inaccurate conclusions and over/underestimations of study effects.
This study has three main objectives:
- to examine the methods used to maintain participation in cohort studies
- to identify best practice for reducing differential attrition
- to investigate and disseminate methodologies suitable for the analysis of cohort studies suffering from attrition under different circumstances
Work has just started on the evaluation of retention strategies in MRC funded cohort studies. This project is funded by the MRC's Population Health Sciences Research Network (PHSRN) and jointly run from the MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit (SPHSU) in Glasgow and the MRC Biostatistics Unit (BSU) in Cambridge.